[ Philip West, English Surrealist. ] Collection of material, including original drawings, writings and translations, with photographs and slides of his work.

Philip West (1949-1997), English Surrealist artist based in Spain, a disciple of René Magritte
Publication details: 
From Spain and Venezuela. Between 1969 and 1982.
SKU: 18120

According to Benezit, West 'saw his representational painting as relating to that of Magritte, a sort of poetic communication beyond words, using association and analogy'. The present collection, from the artist's own archives, shows his distinctive style, with its mixture of eroticism, natural history, archaeology, everyday objects, and primal myth. The collection is in good condition, with light aging and wear. ONE: 20 original drawings in black ink, each on a separate piece of paper or card, ranging in size from 30 x 21 cm to 7.5 x 13 cm. Highly-finished and heavily-inked, fourteen of them signed. In a Surrealist style, with titles including 'Self-portrait as Maldoror' (creature made up of amalgum of tree roots, striped stockings, vagina, eyeball, fish head, sleeping face with pierced earring), 'L'Arc de Triomphe' (dated 1972, a penile fish in a stiletto shoe; an untitled companion piece, also dated 1972, depicts two such fish in stilettos, handcuffed together), 'one-man band' (an ear trumpet made up of an ear and a trumpet), 'proverb' (a snake wrapped round the shaft of a screw), 'idol' (clothes peg with vagina and stockings), and 'a few thoughts on trees' (set of four captioned drawings on one page). TWO: Finished and detailed pencil drawing, 17.5 x 15.5 cm, dating from 1972 and titled 'Laddered stockings', showing a complicated entanglement of the bestockinged legs of two women without underwear, metamorphosing into other shapes in a padded room or train carriage. THREE: Writing and translations (all typescripts except A). Comprising: A: Untitled holograph poem (1p., 12mo), with first line 'Lianas bind metal in the gloom of the forest'. At end: 'West. 1/11/80.' With slip of paper carrying five 'Proverbs'. B: 'The Room' (8pp., 4to), short story with autograph note: 'Undated | c. '73 | West'. C: 'The Exhibit' (2pp., 8vo), short story, signed and dated 19 October 1979, with autograph note: 'sent to M.T. 3:00'. D: Untitled mythical text, 'Translated by Philip West' (7pp., 4to), beginning 'There took place in July 1979 in Caracas, Venezuela, [...]'. With the first page of an earlier draft, dated 'July 79'. E: 'Cuento Guarauno' (2pp., 4to), 'story from the Guaraunos of the Orinoco Delta, Venezuela'. With earlier draft (2pp., 4to). F: 'Myth of the Maquiritare' (4pp., 4to), mythical text. G: 'From a forgotten A to an unknown B' (1p., 8vo), surrealist prose-poem, with two draft pages of same. FOUR: 48 black and white photographs of work, ranging in size from 24 x 20 cm to 9.5 x 6.5 cm. Mostly captioned, with dates between 1975 and 1982; with four coloured photographs (each 20 cm square and uncaptioned) of later work. FIVE: Envelope ('West. Slides Set I.') containing fifteen coloured prints for slides, with captions, with dates between 1979 and 1982, with a sixteenth wrapped in transparent plastic. SIX: Sixteen coloured slides of work, each captioned, 1979-1981. SEVEN: Three photographs of West, two posed (one of them dated 'Caracas May 82') and one of him on a child's tricycle, with five black and white photographs of a group of artists clowning around in a gallery. EIGHT: Black and white 8.5 x 23.5 cm photograph of bronze sculpture 'Dawn', 1969. NINE: Autograph list (1p., 8vo) of titles of paintings, with dates, headed 'Philip West'. TEN: Text in Spanish (2pp., 8vo) by Marian Torrens, titled 'Asi fueron los heros en los tiempos miticos', with small coloured photograph of painting, apparently written for a show of West's work. ELEVEN: Translation into English (2pp., 8vo) by West of 'Conversation with Juan Calzadilla', 'Published in 'El Universal', Caracas, 8-2-81'. TWELVE: Two autograph drafts of parts of letters by West, both to an unnamed recipient, and each with his signature.